Adsorption of Hexacontane on Hexagonal Boron Nitride

JD Albar and VV Korolkov and M Baldoni and K Watanabe and T Taniguchi and E Besley and PH Beton, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY C, 122, 27575-27581 (2018).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.8b10167

We have investigated the adsorption of hexacontane (C60H122) on hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) using atomic force microscopy (AFM). The molecules can be deposited either by sublimation or from solution and form lamellar rows with dimensions of the order of 0.1-1 mu m in three different rotational domains. High-resolution AFM images reveal that, similar to alkanes on graphite, the molecules are adsorbed parallel to the lattice vectors of hBN and we show using molecular mechanics that this corresponds to the lowest energy configuration. Lamellar rows with the same periodicity are observed even when several layers of hexacontane are deposited, although there is some orientational disorder in these multilayers. We also observe heat-induced modification of hexacontane, including recrystallization. We compare our results with recent X-ray studies of alkane adsorption on hBN and discuss the possible role of alkanes on steering molecular self-assembly on hBN.

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